ERIC Number: EJ1005870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Indefinite Foundings and Awkward Transitions: The Grange's Troubled Formation into an Educational Institution
Lauzon, Glenn P.
American Educational History Journal, v39 n1 p231-249 2012
In the closing weeks of 1867, an educational organization was founded in Washington, D.C., that should have been stillborn. Most farmers dismissed scientific agriculture as useless book-farming. They should have been lukewarm to the Patrons of Husbandry's promise to sponsor monthly meetings for mutual instruction in the application of scientific and business principles to farming. Moreover, the Grange (its common name) was a fraternal order, modeled loosely on Freemasonry, and American farmers typically held little regard for hierarchies of social status and elaborate rituals. As an educator of adult farmers during the 19th century, the Grange wielded considerable influence in public policy, including policy-making for public schools and universities. In many rural states and communities it continued to do so into the 20th century. Despite its scale and longevity, the Grange may be unfamiliar to many educational historians. An historian might wonder: which founding intentions and which outcomes are most significant? An educational historian--that is, an historian who is interested in the processes of learning--might also wonder something else. How did the Grange of Buck's "Granger Movement" make the transition into the Grange of Nordin's "Rich Harvest"? Within the first farmers' movement, what and how did farmers learn that reshaped the Grange? To explore these questions, this paper offers a case study of Indiana during, and immediately after, the first farmers' movement of the 1870s. Justification for selecting Indiana rests upon three factors: its location, its Grange membership, and the trajectory of the Grange's institutional development.
Descriptors: Rural Areas, Public Policy, Historians, Educational History, Agricultural Education, Agricultural Occupations, Political Issues, Economic Factors
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: District of Columbia; Indiana